DEAR EXENE: Last year, I had some new neighbors move in next door, into a house on a quiet, residential street. They seem to be nice enough people, but lately, I've been suspicious that there's some kind of illegal, marijuana-growing operation going on in the shed on the side of their house opposite my yard. I'm not well-versed in pot laws, but I'm pretty sure a private grow house could earn them some jail time if they get caught. They seem pretty small-time, and they're nice guys. My problem is they're constantly smoking in the back yard and it wafts over my fence. None of the other neighbors has complained; I've talked to a few of them, and they claim to not smell it. Despite my vocal requests for them to cut it out, these neighbors still toke up outside once or twice a week when I'm outside, and I'm getting really annoyed. Obviously, I know all it would take is an anonymous phone call to the police to put them and their little side operation in a world of hurt. But other than the weed smoking, they've been very courteous (never any big parties or loud noise), and I don't want to get them locked up. At the same time, I was wondering if I should let them know I'm aware of their grow house and use that as leverage, if that will end up having some unforeseen consequences for me if they know that I know about it. All I want them to do is to take their stoner activities inside and not bother me with the smell. What should I do?
DEAR ROSIE: In 2010, there were, according to the FDA, 82,724 deaths from FDA-approved prescription drugs. More than 23,000 people die every year from alcohol-related causes. I don't want to even guess at deaths from cigarettes. But those are permitted, mind-altering substances, all regulated by the government, taxed, and manufactured by mega-corporations. Those are all legal.
But your concern is that your neighbors are smoking marijuana once or twice a week in their back yard. And you suspect they may be growing it in a shed. I am pretty sure that medical marijuana use at home, according to state law, is legal in California. And that includes growing a few plants on one's property. The only statistics I could find regarding the deadliness of marijuana is 0—as in zero. However, the federal government says marijuana is illegal. So, do you call in the feds? The prison system is full of nonviolent drug users. Many are there for marijuana possession. There's always room for two more, right? Or maybe there aren't any marijuana plants in that shed at all. Maybe those neighbors are pod people! As in Invasion of the Body Snatchers! Maybe they store the pods in that shed! Better call the sheriff.
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